While resembling the company's earlier Robinson R22, the R44 is larger and faster than its predecessor. It also features boosted flight controls, a feature not found on the R22. The Astro model incorporates electric cyclic trim, whilst the Raven models have hydraulically assisted cyclic and collective controls.
Design and development
The R44, designed during the 1980s by company president Frank Robinson and his staff of engineers, first flew on March 31, 1990. It was awarded an FAA Type Certificate in December 1992, with the first deliveries taking place shortly thereafter. Originally, the R44 Astro was the main production model, but was dropped in favor of the hydraulically-assisted R44 "Raven" in 2000. The Raven II model (2002 onwards) used a fuel injected engine, tuned induction, optional air conditioning, optional night VFR, 28-volt electrical system, and extended-chord blades for increased performance.
The R-44 is a single-engined helicopter with a semi-rigid two-bladed main rotor and a two-bladed tail rotor and a skid landing gear. It has an enclosed cabin with two rows of side-by-side seating for a pilot and three passengers.
Tail rotor direction of rotation on the R44 is reversed compared to the R22 for improved yaw control authority. On the R44 the advancing blade is on the bottom.
Specifications (R44 Raven II)
Tail rotor has a diameter of 4 ft 10 in (1.5 m) and the total length of the helicopter from rotor tip to tail is 38 ft 4 in (11.7 m)
Published - July 2009
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